Time To Get That “Official Announcement” Out Of The Way

Big News!Timing is always tricky, but one thing I’ve learned is that blog posts aren’t as prone to timing hits and misses as social media channels, so I guess I’ll just go ahead and officially announce that I have a book for sale.

This is terribly bland, and I apologize for the lack of fanfare. But, really, it’s a self-published ebook of poetry, so fanfare is probably inappropriate. I guess I should maybe start going to poetry open mics or something. I’ll check the search engines for local happenings maybe. My experience in Chicago was that those who were best at being interesting were notoriously bad at showing up in search engines, so probably I’ll have to just throw a dart at a map and start talking to people in real life. This could get very dangerous or very boring very quickly.

Maybe something is happening in Ojai. Stuff happens in Ojai.

Anyway, yes, I am now technically officially shilling my own book for NOOK or Kindle:

The Moving Sidewalk To Mars

It’s poetry. It’s drawings. Dig it.

Unicorns and Rainbows: My Ticket to USB Glory

Dan Zarella, the world’s preeminent (and possibly only) Social Media Scientist, has announced via his blog and his illustrious twitter feed a contest involving unicorns and rainbows.  Specifically, it’s a poetry contest:

Compose a rhyme about unicorns and rainbows (“Feel good advice based on dangerous and naive assumptions” — not actual unicorns and rainbows) and you can win one of these sweet MIMOBOT USB drives from Mimoco.

I want one of those thumb drives.  I do.  I won’t deny my covetous ambitions.

AND SO, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…a poem about unicorns and rainbows.

Unicorns and rainbows
Live where this train goes
So everyone, get on board!
We’ll go to a land
Where science is banned
And logic & sense are abhorred.

Plans & Programs

Not gonna lie. I like this picture.

For all intents and purposes, the NoteSlate looks to be the finest version of a basic digital paper pad we’ve seen yet from the human race.  This is a concept almost as old as I am, and for the last twenty years we’ve seen attempt after attempt, but this one just might be what I’m looking for.  I don’t need an iPad – certainly not for $600 – but a pad where I can literally just sketch and draw and write notes to myself, for only $99?  Yes, I’m interested.

I can’t believe I have to wait till June.

It’s not the kind of technological wonderland that Apple likes to bring us; as far as usefulness goes, the NoteSlate is pretty limited.  But I really only want it for one purpose, and I think it will serve that purpose better than anything else on the market.  It’s a specialization, and I’m excited to be in that narrow category of people who can get excited about this.

So, what specifically do I want it for?  Sketching and drawing, duh.  But I can do that on regular paper, so why spend blah blah blah yeah yeah yeah.  Really, I’m interested in adding some drawings to a book of poetry, a la Shel Silverstein.  Drawing on paper and scanning that paper is, well, just a big pain in the ass.  Really inconvenient.

And yes, I have a book of poetry.  At least, the book is compiled; capped at a hundred pages, thanks to a contest I entered.  If I lose, I’ll be free to add more pages and some drawings.  If I win, I get five thousand dollars and a publishing deal.  Either way, I win.

Because it’s held up in the contest until May, I can’t publish any of the poems I submitted anywhere else, or I risk disqualification.  But I think I can post a few lines from one of the poems, so I want to share this little bit from a poem called Plans & Programs:

Plans & programs map our days, straight and sure as a train on its tracks;
but a map can be torn, programs ignored and plans forgotten, and a train can learn to fly.

So this plan of mine, to add some drawings with this great new sketching tool, is really just a small part of the grander plan.  Book of poetry, book of short stories, series of novels, plays and more plays, even screenplays – I’ve got so many writing projects in the works that it would really be better for me to actually make my living as a writer, instead of in an office, working for someone else.  But I’m not there yet.

2016 is my goal.

I’m taking steps.

I’m sketching out a strategic plan.

I’m working on a plan strong enough to sustain its goals over the next half decade, and flexible enough to bend with what life throws us.

So the book of poetry (with drawings) is one step.  This website is another step.  I’m taking steps.

I’m building.

I’ve got a picture in my head of the next five years, and I like this picture.

“The Maldive Shark”

I’m all into poetry & stuff, too, so of course I subscribe to the Academy of American Poets‘ Poem-A-Day e-mail.  Wouldn’t you know – soon as I launch Sharkblog, I find this poem in my inbox from Herman Melville (of “Moby Dick” fame), ALL ABOUT A SHARK.  Thought I’d share it with the search engines:

The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat—
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.

Here is a video to get you in the mood as you re-read that poem over and over again. The video has no sound, so it works better if you play the “Jaws” theme while you watch it.